We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions from our membership to provide more clarity about what you can and cannot do in Queensland after Friday, 17 December.

 

GENERAL

Q: Have government public health orders for mandatory vaccination in Queensland been published?

A: Yes, the new Public Health and Social Measures linked to vaccination status Direction (Direction) was published on Tuesday 7 December 2021 on the Queensland Health website available here. The new direction puts in place vaccination requirements for some businesses.

Q: What businesses do the new requirements apply to?

A: The ‘vaccination entry requirements’ apply to businesses listed in schedules 1A and 1B of the Direction, including:

  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs, bars and function centres;
  • nightclubs, live indoor music venues, concerts, theatres and indoor amusement venues;
  • casinos and most gambling venues;
  • stadiums for all major sporting matches and events with more than 5,000 visitors;
  •  theme parks, zoos and aquariums, showgrounds, festivals with ticketed entry, government-owned galleries, museums, libraries, and historic sites;
  • Prisons and youth detention centres;

In addition, some other businesses, activities or undertakings have different density limits or caps on visitors if unvaccinated persons are present.

However, vaccination entry requirements do not apply to the following:

  • Retail businesses;
  • Hairdressing, beauty therapy, massage and day-spas, and other personal appearance services;
  • ‘Takeaway shops’ with ‘no or minimal seating’;
  • Food courts;
  • Convenience stores

Q: When do the vaccination requirements come into effect?

A: The new requirements come into effect on Friday 17 December 2021.

 

RETAIL

Q: I operate a general retail business. Do staff and customers need to be vaccinated to work or enter the place of business?
A: No, there are no vaccination requirements for either staff or customers for entering a place of business that people normally enter for the purposes of accessing retail goods and services. See the table in schedule 1C of the Direction.

Q: I operate a critical retail business. Are there any different requirements applying to me?

A: Unlike previous Queensland public health directions, there is no distinction between “essential” and “non-essential” retail businesses. Under schedule 1C. there are no vaccination entry requirements for a place of business that people normally enter for the purposes of accessing retail goods and services.

Q: As a retail business, what other requirements do I need to follow?

A: You need to collect contact information electronically from each staff member and adult customers using the Check In Qld app.

Q: Do staff have to check in every time they arrive for work?

A: Yes, unless the person is under 16 years old.

Q: Do staff in my distribution centre have to be vaccinated? What about delivery drivers and other contractors?

A: No, there are no requirements under the new Direction for distribution centres or warehouses, or for delivery drivers or contractors.

 

HOSPITALITY 

Q: I operate a hospitality business. What are the vaccination entry requirements?

A: Visitors and staff aged 16 years or older are only permitted to enter or remain on the business premises if they are fully vaccinated or have a medical contraindication. Proof of vaccination or of a medical contraindication must be provided prior to entry or being served or otherwise on request.

Q: What are my obligations as the operator of the business?

A: You are required to:

  • Request and sight proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or evidence of a medical contraindication before assisting or serving a visitor;
  • take reasonable steps to ensure that a visitor who doesn’t meet the requirements does not enter the place of business;
  • Request each staff member to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or evidence of a medical contraindication, and keep a record of each staff member’s vaccination status and what kind of evidence was provided;
  • Ensure that staff who are unvaccinated are not permitted to enter, work in or provide services at the place of business;
  • Clearly display the requirement for staff and visitors to be fully vaccinated and provide evidence of COVID-19 vaccination or a medical contraindication;
  • Clearly display Check in QLD App QR code;
  • Collect contact information for staff and customers;
  • Operate in accordance with the COVID-19 checklist or COVID safe plan.

Q: Are there any exceptions to these requirements for visitors?

A: You are not required to request proof of COVID-19 vaccination where a visitor:

  • is or appears to be under 16 years old; or
  • is exercising law enforcement or other functions on behalf of a government agency; or
  • is entering in an emergency or to provide emergency services; or
  • it is not reasonable to collect contact information due to a risk to someone’s safety.

Q: What counts as proof of COVID-19 vaccination?
A: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination can be in the following forms, whether printed or electronic:

  • Written confirmation of a COVID-19 vaccination provided as part of the vaccination process, such as a record of vaccine card;
  • Vaccination information displayed on the Check In Qld app;
  • A COVID-19 Digital Certificate;
  • An Immunisation History Statement;
  • An International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate from the Department of Home Affairs or an official record or vaccination provided to the person when vaccinated overseas.

Q: What counts as evidence of a medical contraindication? Is a medical certificate enough?

A: Evidence of a medical contraindication means a COVID-19 vaccination medical exemption recorded by a health professional on the Australian Immunisation Register, displayed on the person’s immunisation history statement. A medical certificate is not sufficient.

Q: Can I choose to trade with unvaccinated staff or customers and have social distancing and density limits instead?

A: No, the Direction has clarified that this is not an option.

Q: I operate a café or restaurant in a shopping centre. Do the vaccination entry requirements apply to me?

A: Yes, but unvaccinated persons can enter the shopping centre and can buy takeaway from your hospitality business. You do not need to collect contact information.

 

HAIR & BEAUTY

Q: I operate a hairdressing business. Can unvaccinated staff and customers enter my place of business?

A: Yes, but you must adhere to a density quotient of 1 person per 2 square meters regardless of whether unvaccinated people are present or not.